Lest We Forget

My mother tells me my grandfather was one of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.

That’s all I know of the story so far, apart from what is in the Australian War Memorial Records, and written by the army or historians.

There is so much history that could have been written but might forever be lost.

So we search for fragments in the often faded memories of those relatives who spoke to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.

Must we then imagine their stories from these spoken fragments, public records, and photographs, where so many faces seem to be from the village of my grandfather.

Will some historians who want written records, and identify verification from the photographs, discount our hand-me-down fragments and pieced together tales?

I am touched when a friend of mine says her grandfather was an Australian on that trails.

Maybe our grandfathers met each other.

We will never now.

Malolo was a Fuzzy Wuzzy angel.

He was my bubu (grandfather)

Lest we Forget.

 

For more information

https://www.awm.gov.au (photographs in the public domain)

https://www.army.gov.au/our-history/history-in-focus/fuzzy-wuzzy-angels

http://www.kokodaspirit.com.au/the-fuzzy-wuzzy-angels/

http://kokoda.commemoration.gov.au/four-peoples-at-war/new-guineans-at-kokoda.php

http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/asfaras/angels.html

 

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels

 

Many a mother in Australia
when the busy day is done
Sends a prayer to the Almighty
for the keeping of her son
Asking that an angel guide him
and bring him safely back
Now we see those prayers are answered
on the Owen Stanley Track

For they haven’t any halos
only holes slashed in their ears
And their faces worked by tattoos
with scratch pins in their hair
Bringing back the badly wounded
just as steady as a horse
Using leaves to keep the rain off
and as gentle as a nurse

Slow and careful in the bad places
on the awful mountain track
The look upon their faces
would make you think Christ was black
Not a move to hurt the wounded
as they treat him like a saint
It’s a picture worth recording
that an artist’s yet to paint

Many a lad will see his mother
and husbands see their wives
Just because the fuzzy wuzzy
carried them to save their lives
From mortar bombs and machine gun fire
or chance surprise attacks
To the safety and the care of doctors
at the bottom of the track

May the mothers of Australia
when they offer up a prayer
Mention those impromptu angels
with their fuzzy wuzzy hair.

By Bert Beros

Can be found at http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/asfaras/angels.html

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Yarning with Nana

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This is another guest blog from my youngest son about his grandparents.  Maybe we can persuade them to guest blog one day.

I asked Nana some questions and this is what she told me.

1) What countries are your relatives from?
Pieter your Great Great grandfather was from Natal, Sth Africa, great great grandmother, Florence Great Grandfather from Paris, Alfred born in Mt Gambier Australia, to colonial family, Great grandmother, Helen born Castlemaine Vic

2) What were your grandparents jobs?
Pieter, your great great grandfather was a coach maker, & interpreter (12 languages), Florence your great, great grandmother was a lion tamer in circus on arrival in Melb Vic., Alfred was a labourer, farm worker & Helen was a domestic worker.

3) Where were you Born?
Nana was born in Melbourne, Australia (Helen Sonia Grundy Perkins is her name)

4) Where did you grow Up?
Port Melbourne Victoria

5) What is your best childhood memory?
Going to the Saturday afternoon pictures (movies) with my brothers on our own and eating toffees afterwards on the way home.

6) How did you meet Poppy (and where?)
I met Poppy at school in grade 5, I was 10!

7) What have your jobs been and which is your favourite job?
Factory worker, then trained in office procedures, and after gaining my Bachelor of Arts at age 45, my favourite job was as CEO of UNICEF Victoria, where I managed some 70 volunteers in raising funds by selling greeting cards, giving speeches for the organization and meeting with famous people! I am currently writing my own history of my family and growing up and have traced my kin back to 1700’s in Britain!


Nana is working on her life story.  I hope she finishes it so we can all read more of her story.

Researching Family History

In the next few posts I will share my son’s research of our family history.  He did this for a year 6 project.

It is precious when grandparents share their stories.

 

withnana4

I have been interviewing my grandparents.  Here I am with Nana Perkins when she visited me.

I learnt that my family has many cultures in it from the past and in the present.

 

We have:

Aboriginal                    

Australian                                    

English

Irish                              

South African                         

French        

German                                           

Scottish                                 

Papua New Guinea

 Iran

Here are what all these flags look like.

Aboriginal_flag australia_flag  England Flag Flag_South-Africa france_flag german_flag iranmap ireland_flag png_flag scotland_flag south_african__flag

I found out our Papua New Guinean Tribe has a Totem. It is a Bird of Paradise.  This is what it looks like.

bird of paradise

The name of the tribe is Maipa Fakai.  This is a photo of Bubu (Gerards) village.

village

I researched the stories of three of my grandparents.

I did these interviews by email and facebook as my grandparents live in Melbourne, Victoria, and Launceston, Tasmania.

Poppy is in hospital for an operation so I couldn’t get his story yet, but I have interviewed three of my grandparents. Poppy sent me some photographs.

I heard from two of my Aunties. They helped me by telling me their cultures too.

Mum helped me to find lots of photographs and we asked our relatives for them. We had some of my Bubu (PNG grandmother) given to my family by an anthropologist called Mark Mosco.

 

By my youngest son